Why the 2022 F1 Monaco Grand Prix Will Unusually Begin on Friday Instead of Thursday

Published 05/25/2022, 3:46 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Eric Gaillard REFILE – CORRECTING ID

F1 has seen some major changes in recent times. In terms of races and race venues, the Formula One calendar will include the Las Vegas GP from the 2023 season. Not only that, but the current season has also undergone many changes. First, it was the decrease in the number of races, and now the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix is seeing a major change.

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The 2022 schedule was supposed to have 23 races, the most races in an F1 season ever. However, the Russia – Ukraine conflict led the FIA to terminate its contract with the Russian GP. So, now the 2022 season has 22 races, just like last season. Further, the ongoing season saw the addition of a new race, the Miami GP.

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Further, the Monaco GP will also see a change this season. The race in the principality was a huge topic of discussion because the 2022 season could have been the last appearance of the prestigious race. However, the authorities for Monaco GP have assured that the historic race will continue to be a part of the F1 calendar.

But a new upcoming contract won’t be the only change for the historic race. Monaco GP used to be an event stretched over 4 days, but it will be a regular three-day event from 2022. Unlike most races, the Monaco race weekend began on Thursday instead of Friday.

Monaco Grand Prix would no more begin on Thursday

Monaco GP is one of the most prestigious races in F1, especially it being part of the “Triple Crown of Motorsport.” The historic race in the principality hosts the first two practice sessions on Thursday. Then an off day on Friday before the F1 action resumes again on Saturday. The FP3 and Qualifying sessions are on Saturday, and the main race is on Sunday.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in action during Thursday practice of Monaco GP.- REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The original reason for not having F1 action on Friday was the celebration of Ascension Day. But it won’t be the case because now F1 has decided to shift all the Thursday activities to Friday.

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F1 has a massive schedule because of the 22 races, and they don’t want it to stretch. So, to make the schedule compact, they decided to move every media interaction and first two practice sessions to Friday. Hence, it will be a continuous three-day F1 event in the principality this year with no breaks.

F1 came up with this idea last season as the F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali reported, “So Friday, Saturday and Sunday instead of Thursday, hold and then Saturday and Sunday. So that’s the change we’re going to introduce next year.”

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Would the new Monaco schedule affect the drivers?

The Monaco GP is taking place just after the Spanish GP, which could be tiring. But many F1 drivers live in Monaco, so it shouldn’t be a major issue for the drivers. Instead, they would get an extra day for rest before going for the battle in the street circuit of Monaco.

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The change in the schedule for the Monaco race might feel awkward initially. But fans and drivers might soon adapt to the change because everyone is already familiar with the three-day straight race action.

Are you looking forward to the race weekend in Monaco?

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Ripan Majumdar

683 articles

Ripan Majumdar is an F1 writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Science from West Bengal State University, Kolkata. Ripan is a massive Red Bull Racing and Sergio Perez fan, and has been following the sport for over the past few years.

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